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Janson Hews - The importance of the student voice within Museums - Museums Australia Conference May 2013

Janson Hews - The importance of the student voice within Museums - Museums Australia Conference May 2013



Working together with students as co-creators of exhibitions and content in the Museum can produce a rich source of creativity, critical thinking and ultimately an ‘other’ voice for the public to ...

Working together with students as co-creators of exhibitions and content in the Museum can produce a rich source of creativity, critical thinking and ultimately an ‘other’ voice for the public to hear about issues facing them and wider society.

In today’s increasingly participatory Museum environment there is the need to be more inclusive of audience voices. In particular, is the importance of championing the student voice and the opportunities that exist for greater collaboration. Students need to feel that they have a voice in order to participate and engage in the complex world around them. Museums, through their exhibitions and programs have the opportunity to more effectively collaborate with students and education stakeholders and provide them with a platform to express their feelings and aspirations in a critical and creative way. The Powerhouse Museum has enjoyed a long history of student-based exhibition which have gone on to become permanent fixtures, such as the annual DesignTECH exhibition, showcasing the best of the state’s Major Design Projects. The Museum is working more extensively to provide the public with an ‘other’ voice not always heard in public forums, such as evidenced with the recent 2012 Koori Art Expressions exhibition, in which students from years K-12 have produced artworks in response to this year’s NAIDOC theme – The Tent Embassy.

The reason why this initiative is significant is that the education audience are key Museum stakeholders, which in many instances are an untapped resource of creativity and critical thinking which can be harnessed through working together more effectively. The motivation to further champion this student voice is recognising the transformative role of students as future agents of change, through fostering these critical and creative skills.

Many people say not to work with animals or children however this presenter disagrees altogether with the latter. This presentation will provide delegates with an insight into what has worked at the Museum in collaborating with students and education stakeholders to produce exhibitions and content as well as highlight some of the challenges which exist.



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    Janson Hews - The importance of the student voice within Museums - Museums Australia Conference May 2013 Janson Hews - The importance of the student voice within Museums - Museums Australia Conference May 2013 Document Transcript

    • The importanceof the student voicewithin MuseumsJanson Hews,@janson_hMgr Education Programs,Powerhouse MuseumMuseums Australia Conference20 May 2013http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizbernunz/269911586/1Saturday, 25 May 13
    • 22Saturday, 25 May 13I want to start with the story of Aunty Red. The words you are about to hear were written by 10 year old student Tegan Weldon.My Mum’s name is Larraine but everyone calls her Red because when she was a little girl she would always eat red strawberries. She lived in Gulargambone.She used to ride motorbikes and go emu nesting with my Pop.She lived with my Dad, but he’s no longer with us. He passed away in 2003.She is important because I love her and she loves me. Mum is special because she taught me to speak, stand and write.She is like the women in the exhibition because she goes to TAFE every day. The women in the exhibition all look after people. My Mum looks after her family. She is the best Mum in the world.Tegan wrote this story because we asked her to tell us about a woman who was important in her life. It was a story that only she could tell and one that impacted her, her mum and the visitors in the Museum who read it.Our role at the Museum was pretty simple, it was to ‘stop, collaborate and listen’.
    • The student voice within MuseumsWhy should I care?33Saturday, 25 May 131. WHY SHOULD I CARE ?People’s expectations around the way they engage with Museums have changed significantly. We need to respond to these expectations if we are to stay meaningful in peoples’ lives. The following are four reasons youas a Museum professional should collaborate with students at every opportunity you can to ensure their voice is heard.
    • #1People today are ‘produsers’ (Bruns 2008)contentcontent produser(as producer)(as consumer)The future is user-led44Saturday, 25 May 13Pt. 1 > People today are producers not consumers of contentA social revolution has occurred in the way people interact with the world around them, brought about by new media and web 2.0.Today the production of ideas today takes place in a far more collaborative and participatory mode. People are as much producers as they are users of information and knowledge. They are ‘Prod-users’.
    • Wikipedia Recent Changes MapReal-time map showing changes to Wikipedia entries worldwide55Saturday, 25 May 13Wikipedia shows us that anybody can create information. This interactive map shows us the vast number of changes to Wikipedia entries worldwide in real time, involving vast amounts of collaboration.
    • COMMUNICATIONTRADITIONALMEDIAbooksjournalsnewspaperstelevisionmagazinesPHYSICAL LOCATIONSmusuemsgalleriesuniversityworkschoolscafehomelibraryNETWORKSpersonal/behavioural/publicly articulatedfriends/ familysocial/ professional/colleagues/ lecturers/university peers/facebook, twitternote: these all overlap!GAMESwords withfriendsangry birdsWORDSexchangegmailtxt messagesskype google chatAUDIO/VIDEOONLINE AUDIOsoundclouditunespodcastsaudiobooksPRODUCTIVITY/ NOTEScalendarremember the milkgoogle calendarevernote notes calendardelicious diigoBOOKMARKSpinterest instapaperONLINE VIDEOyoutubevimeoted talksrsa visionBLOGS/ NEWS FEEDSwordpressaustraliancurriculumbloggertumblr rss feedslost at e minorONLINE SEARCHINGqr reader quorascholargoogle + twitter photosynthWEB 2.0/ SOCIAL MEDIA/ SHAREinstagram cyclemeterfacebook flickr slidesharelinkedin tweetdeckrunkeeperPersonal Learning EnvironmentPLEJanson HewsTECHNOLOGYmacbook proiMaciphoneadobe suiteipadbrowserskindlewordpressCOLLABORATEgoogle docs wikisblackboard learnningoffice66Saturday, 25 May 13Where you learn and how is no longer fixed due to the prevalence of mobile devices. This is what my PLE or Personal Learning Environment currently looks like. Of interest is the extent of peer-to-peer collaboration andstudent centred learning.
    • People want to collaborate and be heardhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pnca/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/brooklyn_museum/#277Saturday, 25 May 13Pt. 2People want to collaborate and be heard?Museums as a result have become more participatory than ever. One need only look at the volume of blogs, levels of public programming, artist in residencies and exhibitions with user generated contentPeople are no longer content with Museums as places where they go to simply listen, they go because they want to have dialogue and be recognised as co-collaborators. If you don’t provide visitors with this dialogue theywill take their discussions elsewhere.
    • Students are a core museum audience#38Neglect them at your peril!8Saturday, 25 May 13Pt. 3Students are a core Museum audienceStudents are a core Museum audience throughout most institutions. At the Powerhouse they currently represent almost 15% of total visitation at almost 50,000 students. Neglect them at your peril!
    • Students are our future change agents#3Museum provide the raw assetsfor inspiring our next generation ofdesigners, makers, thinkers & scientists99Saturday, 25 May 13Students are future change agentsStudents are also future agents of change within our society. They are a rich source of creativity and critical thinking. We need to utilise our collections as raw assets to inspire our next generation of designers, makers,thinkers and scientists.
    • Showcase an ‘other’ voice to the public to hear aboutissues facing them and wider societyMuseums have a responsibility tochampion the student voice#410museumvoice‘other’voice10Saturday, 25 May 13Pt. 4Museums also have a responsibility to champion the student voiceMuseums as public institutions hold a unique position. They can utilise students as an ‘other’ voice for the public to hear about issues facing them and wider society. They allow us new ways of seeing. Often moreoptimistic yet critical, creative and solutions-oriented, than say some of our more adult audiences and learned colleagues.
    • Museums serve as a valuable ‘third space’ for learning(Waters, 2009)Museums have a responsibility tochampion the student voice#4HomeMuseumSchool1113211Saturday, 25 May 13Museums occupy a unique ‘third space’ for students. They bridge the gap between school and home, a space where students learn and experience in different ways finding new forms of creativity, self-expression andconfidence. Importantly this involves giving space for children to be producers as well as consumers of knowledge
    • The student voice within MuseumsHow will this improve myprofessional practice?Examples of co-creation and platforms forstudent expression12Exhibitions Programs12Saturday, 25 May 132. HOW WILL THIS IMPROVE MY PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE?I want to highlight a number of co-creation projects with students as well as various platforms which have amplified the student voice within the museum. These involve a mix of exhibitions and programs, the idea beingthat you may be able to take some of these elements back to your workplace.
    • Exhibitions13The OdditoreumKoori Art ExpressionsAn Important WomanDesignTECH13Saturday, 25 May 13Exhibitions
    • An Important Woman14#114Saturday, 25 May 131. ‘An Important Woman’Features: Temporary display, high co-creation, small budget and relatively small staffing resource, topical, quick turnaround, easy. High level of collaboration between students, teacher and museum, strategicThis was a partnership program between the Museum and Glebe Public School, a school within the local community. It was a response to the annual Indigenous Literacy Day event, which seeks to raise awareness of theliteracy crisis in remote Indigenous Communities.
    • An Important Woman15Women in Yinalung yenu: women’s journey exhibition15Saturday, 25 May 13We invited students to visit the exhibition Yinalung yenu: women’s journey, to learn about the important role of women in Indigenous Australian society.
    • An Important Woman16at the museum at school at the museumCollaboration Collaboration16Saturday, 25 May 13Students worked with James Wilson Miller exhibition curator. We then did some scaffolded templates on personal narratives using the women in the exhibitions.Students returned to school to then write and illustrate a personal narrative about a woman important in their own lives and what she shares in common with the women in the exhibition.They then returned to school to see their display at the Museum. These two women at the bottom right were the group’s teachers.
    • An Important Woman17David Malouf Indigenous Literacy Day talk17Saturday, 25 May 13This project started as a writing program and evolved into a display as well as a talk by students presenting alongside David Malouf and Bronwyn Bancroft for Indigenous Literacy Day event at the Museum
    • An Important Woman18Storytelling as a vehicle for personal expression“The Aunties were very encouraged by theexhibition and feel that it is the type of experiencethat will ensure that their culture lives on”Greater stakeholders in the museum throughparticipation as authors of material on public display18Saturday, 25 May 13How did this amplify the student voice?•! They learnt about the transformative power of reading and storytelling as a vehicle for personal expression and communication•! It captured the students’ creative literacy achievements•! A large percentage of the school’s student population are Indigenous, where having their voice heard in such a public forum was empowering. The teacher involved commented: “The Aunties were veryencouraged by the exhibition and feel that it is the type of experience that will ensure that their culture lives on”•! The collaboration allowed students to become greater stakeholders in the Museum through their participation as authors of material on public display.
    • DesignTECH Exhibition19#2http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/destek_2012.php19Saturday, 25 May 132. DesignTECH ExhibitionFeatures: annual student exhibition, integrated into the museum exhibition calendarThis is an annual student exhibition showcasing the state’s top Major Design Projects as part of the HSC Design & Technology course. It has been held at the Museum since 1989, with this year being its twenty-fourthyear. Sitting alongside other key exhibitions it is attended by over 7,000 visitors. It is the only student-based exhibition of its kind in the state showcasing student design innovation. Similar student-centred exhibitionsinclude the successful ARTEXPRESS exhibition at the AGNSW.
    • DesignTECH Exhibition20Students addressing real problems they identifyhttp://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/destek_2012.php20Saturday, 25 May 13How it amplified the student voicePlatform for showcasing innovative student design solutionsWhat is compelling about this exhibition is the insight it provides the public into the level of innovation and problem solving demonstrated by students and how they have responded creatively to issues facing wider society.It educates the public about the determination and passion students have to act as agents of change to address real problems through their designs
    • DesignTECH Exhibition21Problem = an ageing populationhttp://www.powerhousemuseum.com/previous/destek11.php21Saturday, 25 May 13an ageing population. Motivated by seeing how her grandmother was being affected by arthritis this student designed an ergonomic peg without springs that allows elderly arthritis sufferers reducing the strain on the hand
    • DesignTECH Exhibition22http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/previous/destek11.php22Saturday, 25 May 13An issue close to stuent’s hearts - an iPhone app designed to help learner drivers records their driving hours
    • DesignTECH Exhibition23http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/destek_2012.php23Saturday, 25 May 13Another way we have put the student voice forward here is to create video interviews of students talking about the design process they undertook and the problem that they sought to address which are made availableonline and in the exhibition.
    • DesignTECH Exhibition24Education pathways into the creative industrieshttp://www.tasmanmunrodesign.com/albums/album_image/7643439/6486630.htmhttp://www.dhub.org/2010-design-nsw-travelling-scholarship-winner/24Saturday, 25 May 13Education pathways into the creative industries (image: all 3 students)It serves as a springboard for education and career pathways.Many students featured in the exhibition go on to achieve success within the Creative Industries and continue their pursuit of innovation such as:Tasman Munro (DesignTECH 2004), who went on to study Industrial Design at UTS, establish his own design practice and was awarded in 2010 the Design NSW Travelling Scholarship. As part of that he was able to dodesign work with the ROayl College of ARt where he contributed to the redesign of UK ambulances, a project which last year won the Transport category for London Design Museum Design of the year 2012.
    • DesignTECH Exhibition2525Saturday, 25 May 13Encouraging collaboration between students is a key part of the DesignTECH seminar program that complements this exhibition. One recent initiative was having students interact with one another by either posing adesign problem which another student would respond to with a design solution. They did this using simple templates which we made up and left out for the duration of the seminars
    • Koori Art Expressions Exhibition26#3http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/koori_art_expressions_education.php26Saturday, 25 May 133. Koori Art ExpressionsFeatures: temp student exhibition, resource devel, intern. EasyThis temporary exhibition was new in 2013 and featured 70 visual art works by students across NSW from K-12. Presented in association with Sydney Region Aboriginal Education and NSW Department of Education andCommunities. A strong example of championing the student voice within the Museum, students responded to this year’s NAIDOC Week theme which was the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
    • Koori Art Expressions Exhibition27http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/koori_art_expressions_education.php27Saturday, 25 May 13Cleo, grade 5 from CoogeeSth PS
    • Koori Art Expressions Exhibition28http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/koori_art_expressions_education.php28Saturday, 25 May 13How it amplified the student voice‘The wheel of equality’ by Banksmeadow Public School (Years 3-6), is a colourful, woven work inspired by Aboriginal basket weaving. Made using old t-shirts, it features the colours of the Australian and Aboriginal flags,creatively bound together to represent the many links that join both cultures and makes them equal in today’s society
    • Koori Art Expressions Exhibition29http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/koori_art_expressions_education.php29Saturday, 25 May 13The following is a short video of indigenous artist Adam Hill who spoke about the transformative power that exists with students considering critical topics such as the Tent Embassy and creating artworks in response tothis, much as he would as a practicing artist
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition30#430Saturday, 25 May 134. The OdditoreumFeatures: temp exhibition, resource heavy, highly collaborative, involved but highly rewardingThis exhibition which has co-collaboration and participation at its centre started off as a public program for the school holidays, transformed into an exhibition, book, limited edition print, interactive website and ultimatelyan interstate travelling exhibition. It was the creation of Helen Whitty who was the Manager of the Families program at the Museum.The Odditoreum was exciting because of the level of participation it engendered without any technology based interactive experiences. Plus the fact that it provided the Museum with a fun and exciting way to re-imaginethe collection particularly from the perspective of the public.
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition3118x ‘odd objects’+Shaun Tan - children’s authorWrote 11x ‘fictional’ labels31Saturday, 25 May 13The Odditoreum brought together 18 ‘odd’ objects not in storage and a well known children’s author - Shaun Tan. He was invited to write 11 fictional labels in under 100 words.The remaining seven labels were written by inviting year 4 students from Stanmore Public Schools to write some fanciful stories that blur fact and fiction much in the way Shaun Tan does in his work When things arestrange the brain sends out feelers for meaning and who knows what will come back!
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition32What is this ‘odd’ object?32Saturday, 25 May 13What is this odd object?
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition33Student label33Saturday, 25 May 13What Augustine (aged 9) from Stanmore PS said it wasElephant’s weeThis lovely little ball is a great treat for all to eat. Made out of pure elephant wee, it is a luxury and only served at the finest of places. It was discovered in Africa in an elephant cafe when an elephant peed in a glass andanother elephant drank it and said it was good! So the elephant chef figured out how to make it into a great treat! It then made its way to humankind and I guess someone drank it and liked it and sold it to the museumwhere it is now. If you want to try it, eat it now at your closest elephant restaurant shop.
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition34puree -a ball of yellow pigmentused to die fabrics, made inIndia about 1887Collection informationWhat it actually is:34Saturday, 25 May 13What it actually ispuree -a ball of yellow pigment used to die fabrics, made in India about 1887. Old Museum papers said the puree was made from the wee of an elephant fed on mango leaves.The idea being that we wanted visitors to be curious enough about the objects to want to find out what they were and demand to know. Actual labels were displayed for those demanding to know.
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition35http://www.freshandnew.org/2009/07/fictitious-narratives-visitor-made-labels-the-odditoreum/35Saturday, 25 May 13The audience were then invited to write their own labels for each of the 18 objects which would added to this board and also uploaded to the Museum’s Flickr pool
    • The Odditoreum Exhibition36Botanical model of sweetpea pod with peas, papermache, metal, plaster 1883Cast of horses’ teeth,papier mache, 1902Botanical plantspecimen.‘Dragon’s Blood -3rd quality’, 188536Saturday, 25 May 13What they actually are:1. Cast of horses teeth, made from papier mache, 19022. Botanical model of sweet pea pod with peas, paper mache, metal, plaster 18833. Botanical plant specimen. The original museum label said it is ‘Dragon’s Blood - 3rd quality’
    • 37ProgramsMasterclass in reverseStudent evaluation37Saturday, 25 May 13
    • 38Student drawing evaluation#138Saturday, 25 May 131. Evaluation (1 min)Features: easy to implement, slightly involved to collateFor our student evaluation of educator-led programs for example the Transport or Space Tour we have been experimenting using a combination of drawing and questionnaires to gauge what students take away from theirexperience. Students complete these templates and hang them up on display in the gallery where the public and other students are able to look at themThese examples of capturing the student voice serves two purposes1. To gain insights into what they learn and ensure this is meeting our intended learning outcomes for students2. To create a sense of active learning within the museum and allowing visitors to see and understand what big concepts and insights (or not) that students are drawing from their experience within the Museum
    • Student drawing evaluation3939Saturday, 25 May 13
    • Masterclass in reverse40Flipping the masterclass concept on its headParadigm change in the way knowledge about technology is disseminatedtodayInviting sharp young experts to teach adults how to use leadingtechnologies including Raspberry Pi and Arduinohttp:// www.raspberrypi.org http:// www.raspberrypi.org#240Saturday, 25 May 13Flipping the masterclass concept on its headInviting sharp young experts to teach adults about how to use leading technologies including Raspberry Pi and ArduinoThinkspace - Part of Vivid Sydney in June 2013
    • Masterclass in reverse: Raspberry Pi41Create your own credit-card sizecomputer that plugs into your TV& keyboardHow to program it alsoInventor of the mindcuber -a machine that solves the rubiccube using a camera to scan thecube before unscrambling itMaster:Julian Peen9 y/ohttp://mynxtprojects.jimdo.com/videos/http://www.dhub.org/learn-raspberry-pi-from-a-nine-year-old/41Saturday, 25 May 13Master: 9 y/o Julian PeenCreate your own credit-card size computer that plugs into your TV & keyboardHow to program it alsoInventor of the mindcuber - machine that solves the rubic rube
    • Masterclass in reverse:Arduino42Learn about Arduino an open-source electronics prototypingplatformHe’s a gamer, blogger, heavy coderand video editor/ producerPresented at TEDxYouth at PHMon how more technology shouldbe taught in schoolshttp:// www.ewb.org.auMaster:Aidan Temple14 y/ohttp:// tedxyouthsydney.comhttp://www.dhub.org/arduino-open-source-and-curiosity-a-14-year-olds-journey/42Saturday, 25 May 13Master: 14 y/o Aidan TempleLearn about Arduino an open-electronics prototyping platformHe’s a gmaer, blogger, heavy coder and video editor/ producerAidan presented 3 years ago for TEDxYouth@Sydney in 2010 at PHM on how more technology should be taught in schools
    • The student voice within MuseumsWhat must I do?43co-create wherever possibletake risks and let go of controlact as an ambassador for the student voiceempower student authorship in the museumprovide platforms for participation and collaboration43Saturday, 25 May 133. WHAT MUST I DO?•! co-create wherever possible•! take risks and let go of control•! act as an ambassador for the student voice•! empower student authorship in the museum•! provide platforms for participation and collaboration